Well, it happened. Joel turned 30! We had a great time celebrating this weekend and I thought I would share some pictures with you.
On Friday night we went out for dinner to Charcut. Yum! They are a fairly new roast house type restaurant located in a new boutique hotel downtown called Hotel Le Germain. Decor was a great mix of modern and rustic, with lots of leather and wood and glass everywhere.
We ordered a wide variety of things off their ever changing menu. There were warm soft pretzels with homemade mustard, shaved lamb with grated gruyere, pickled heirloom carrots, cucumbers and beets, roasted chicken and charred vegetables, prawn fetuccini and duck fat fried poutine with truffle gravy. Needless to say, by the time we were done with all that we had no room left for dessert, despite the fact that a friend of ours there is one of the dessert chefs and has an original recipe on the menu.
Saturday was the main event and Joel's actual birthday. I got up and went to the grocery store despite the 10cm of snow on the ground that had fallen the night before, and bought some fresh french bread and lots of fresh fruit. We had a delicious breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast and fruit and then I spent the rest of the day getting ready for the party.
We decided to host a Gentleman's Evening which if you think too hard sounds a bit like strippers and beer, but trust me, was waaaay better than that! 20 of us gathered at our house, decked out in our finest. The boys played in a poker tournament while the girls provided wait service for the evening. Thank goodness I have girlfriends who are willing to regress a little and spend the evening serving the men while they smoke cigars, drink scotch and play cards! It all felt a little Mad Men.
There was for food than 50 people could have eaten, and a VERY well stocked bar. Joel and I worked together to come up with a drinks menu for the guys to order from, including some signature highballs and martinis.
Since we had to split the group into two to play poker, after both tables had dwindled to 4 people we took a bit of a break. The guys (and Mel!) stepped outside to smoke their cigars, which were Cuban because well, we can have those in Canada. After that we cut the cake (complete with 30 candles) and enjoyed a few pieces. The cake came from Marble Slab Creamery and was beyond delicious! Chocolate Amaretto with Skor, Krispy Krunch, Reese's Pieces and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups mixed in. SO decadent!
We had a blast! And as far as I can tell, so did everyone else. No less than 4 guys at the party said they wanted to repeat the event at their own birthday. Even all the hard working ladies said they had a great time, and it was fun to watch the men "get manly" for the night.
Of course there had to be some birthday kisses too!
I do wish I had been able to snap some pictures before the party instead of after. When it was all set up, the place looked fantastic. Call me crazy, but I ended up disassembling our 110" long sofa with two chaises and moving all the parts to different places in the house all to make room for the second poker table. I hung paper pennants (made for his party last year) in different directions all across the kitchen, living room and dining room.
I also added a Happy Birthday pennant banner on the short wall by the front door.
Like I said above, we made up some drinks menus that we printed back to back and cut in half to make them long and skinny. We hung a full page version with extra info on the cabinet door above the bar counter.
I was so happy to be able to give Joel such a fun party. 30 is definitely a milestone and everyone should get to ring it in with a bang!
There is actually going to be one more part of his party which will come in a month or two. We are planning a white water rafting trip with about a dozen on our friends. We just need to find a date that works for everyone and book it! I have to say, I'm looking forward to that part a lot less than I was looking forward to the party.